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Banana Legs tomato, long and yellow, like a banana!

Basket with banana legs tomatoes in it

Banana legs key facts:

Botanical name – Solanum lycopersicum
Common name – Banana legs tomato
Family – Solanaceae

Type – fruit vegetable

Height – 6 feet (1.50 m)
Planting distance – 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – cool, healthy, rich, soft

Sowing – March-April
Planting – May
Harvest  – July to September

The very productive Banana legs tomato is an ancient heirloom cocktail-type variety. It is most productive at the peak of the summer. Native to South America, it produces small fruits (1½ to 2½ ounces, or 45 to 75 g) which are yellow and rather elongated, growing in clusters of 10 to 20 fruits. This tomato has a soft flesh with a citrus-y taste. It also only sports very few seeds, which makes it perfect for summer tossed salads. Some varieties are more orange in color.

Sowing Banana legs tomatoes

A frost-vulnerable plant, banana legs sowing needs to take place in a warm environment, anytime from March to April, with temperatures of around 68°F (20°C).

  • Bury the Banana legs tomato seeds under a quarter-inch (5-7mm) of special seedling soil mix.
  • Keep the substrate moist but not drenched, and make sure your seedlings get enough light.

Germination lead times are very short: on average, 7 to 10 days after sowing.

Planting Banana legs tomato

Transplant to the ground once the “last frost date” threshold has passed, generally sometime around mid-May. At this stage, your Banana legs tomato seedlings should be about 5 to 6 inches tall (12 to 15 cm).

  • Planting banana legs tomatoesSelect a sunny spot to plant them, but that doesn’t get scorching hot later on.
  • Decompact the soil, digging out a hole about 3 to 4 times larger than the root ball on your tomato seedlings. Amend the soil that was dug out with very ripe compost.

Space each Banana legs plant by around 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm).

  • Once in place, water them at the base and lather the area with a thick layer of mulch.

Growing and care

Not a hardy plant at all, the Banana Legs tomato in our temperate climates is only grown as an annual, like most other types of tomato. Settle it down in non-scorching full sun, in soil that’s preferably light, replete with organic matter, and cool. In cooler regions, best grow this tomato under the cover of a greenhouse.

Caring for banana legs tomatoes often means a greenhouse in colder areas

Mulch at the base of your plants will help keep the soil cool while simultaneously hindering weeds. In case of heat spells, water your plants often. Early morning or evening is best. Water only at the foot of the plant, without getting any leaves wet: this will prevent diseases from appearing.

Diseases and pests

The Banana Legs tomato is vulnerable to downy mildew and to powdery mildew.

Harvest and keeping

Your Banana Legs tomato fruit harvest spans from July to September, more or less 4 to 5 months after sowing. Harvest the fruits as you need them, when you notice they’re perfectly ripe.

  • Your Banana Legs tomato harvest will keep well for a few days in the vegetable compartment of your fridge.
  • It’s also possible to simply line them up on a spare portion of the counter. Best is, of course, to eat them immediately after having picked them!
  • In order to extend your crop for the following winter months, go ahead and cook the tomatoes: they will keep well in airtight jars and cans.

Read also: How to collect tomato seeds

Orange hue for this special banana legs variety, harvested moments ago

Cooking with Banana legs tomato

Cooking right at maximum ripeness for these banana legs tomatoThe dense, juicy and acid-free flesh of the Banana Legs tomato is a match made in Heaven for summer tossed salads. The yellow color of its golden fruits brings color to your dishes.

On top of this, this particular tomato does great in all kinds of sauces, and even as a candied fruit.

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
Pixabay: ShireShy, Alexei Chizhov, Ольга, David Will, rumpel
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